Irony Man

Dec. 1st, 2013 09:45 am
greatbear: (forearms)
That old saying that goes "if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all" seems to fit me so well lately. Seemingly unrelated changes to other parts of my body since the back surgery has me a bit more than miffed. In a "good" case, for years after a very nasty sinus infection, my left nostril would be nearly closed up at all times, becoming a high pressure annoyance at times when sleeping unless I used a nasal spray to clear it up on those days it was particularly bothersome. Since the surgery, it's been absolutely clear. How a spinal issue in my lower back becomes essentially a deviated septum is beyond me. I'll take any sort of unintentional victories I can at this point in time. Such celebration seemed short lived, however, after spending a far from insignificant amount of money upgrading my "main" home theater/stereo system in the living room as well as a secondary system I use in my lab for testing as well as pure entertainment purposes (the latter far more often) I have become profoundly deaf in my right ear. I'm hoping this is temporary at best, but if recent history of mine with tinnitus and occasional unbalance is any indication, I am better off listening in mono.

*sigh*
greatbear: (forearms)
Aaaand, we're back. Too early to tell how great any successes are, being I am masked in a fog of pain killers and other numbing agents, but I think there is some improvement, I will know more in the next couple days. Big test is soon, if I can sleep properly in bed without the searing pain I had for months. I did conk out in the truck on the way home from exhaustion though. :-)

Thank you for all the kind words, thoughts and well wishing. Y'all's gots some powerful mojo!

Surfacing

Oct. 30th, 2012 09:55 pm
greatbear: (Default)
Now that Mother Nature has moved her sandy vagina past Mayhem HQ, I cracked the hatches and did some damage assessment. Other than a torn canvas canopy that is part of the pergola on the deck and lots of leaves on just about every surface, there is no damage to report. The cable internet was out for a day, the cell phone hotspot provided backup until this evening. Other than a few glitches, the power remained. The farm opposite the back yard was a source of interesting fireworks when the power lines began galloping in the wind, releasing the uppermost cable from the insulator allowing it to drop on the lower neutral cable, lighting up the night. This took out the service leg that supplies the farm as well as a couple neighboring houses. For once the roar of generators is not coming from my place.

Jeff and I had our emergency contingencies in place, the vehicles fully fueled, lots of fuel for the generator, plenty of food, etc., all the usual. All Sandy had to do was bring it. Though we weren't hit hard, it was a serious storm that did lots of surrounding damage. Ma Nature is angry, and this is yet another example of her wrath.

Life here has taken another turn to uncertainty. A week ago today I lost my job of just over 30 years. I'll talk more of that in a possible later post, but suffice to say I see this as a mixed blessing.

Jeff's new job is a nice new challenge for him so far, he seems to enjoy it and the staff have been decent. Now, I think I've said this each time he's arrived at a new gig, and, well, you know how that has gone. I'll keep my fingers crossed that this will be a good one. Jeff enjoys his work in healthcare, the government services gig was full of way too many spoiled entitlement babies.

I continue to battle injury issues with my spine. Once I know where I stand job-wise, I will head under the knife to have the herniated disc taken care of.

I hope anyone affected by this storm, including friends and family, are doing well. I'm playing catch-up on news, LJ and such.

Back

Oct. 2nd, 2012 02:52 pm
greatbear: (Default)
I think it's only fair, given my post out of the blue from last night, that I should follow on with some news and other blather on what's been going on in the past months. Far from a comprehensive list, this is just going to highlight most of the major bits.

One of the things Jeff and I had been looking forward to more than anything this year was to have a longish vacation. We had talked many times about extending our stay in Provincetown beyond our usual week. It would always seem that we'd run out of time to do all the things we wanted to, as well as explore the greater part of Cape Cod. So, this year we did just that. However, and interesting thing occurred. We had two full weeks to play with, yet we did far less than we would on our week (or less) of time in the past. We got caught up on just relaxing, there were a couple days where we never left the campsite. We had the perfect shady spot, all of our canopies, tables and cooking gear set up, comfy chairs and tables, lots of music, and wonderfully mild weather when the majority of the USA was experiencing record setting heat along with some severe weather events. Despite not hitting the clubs and trekking all about, the relaxing was precisely what the two of us needed, especially Jeff. There is something to be said about just disconnecting from everything and, well, doing what feels good. By far, this was our most relaxing vacation yet.

If anything put a damper on our enjoyment it was the fact on the day of our arrival La Casa Mayhem and the surrounding vicinity got nailed HARD with a severe storm, knocking out power for over five days. In fact, as we were getting into Massachusetts I noticed a convoy of utility vehicles, bucket trucks and such heading the opposite direction. My comment to Jeff was that I figured the area had gotten hit with one of the myriad summer storms and now the trucks were heading back home. It wasn't until later that evening I read on the news that the Maryland area was hit badly and help was coming from many surrounding states to restore the record power outages. My attempts to connect with great computers filling the hallowed halls of Mayhem HQ failed as well, and I knew we were without power. Normally when I am home, it's just a simple task for me to connect the generator and fire it up, and life becomes normal. Unfortunately, this is not an automated process, and the power failure lasted over five days, taking with it two freezers full of expensive food, plus everything in the upstairs fridge/freezer as well. I had a local friend check on the house occasionally while we were gone. When the power was finally restored, the water system failed to come back up (I have a well) and this prevented the automatic watering of the veggie garden. So, I resigned myself to having lost not only the food inside, but some of the garden crop as well. It was searing heat and drought the entire time I was in PTown, and that took its toll on the garden. First thing I did when I got home was to figure out the problem with the water (a screen in the system got fouled with sediment that squeezed out of the empty storage tank, a simple fix, rather than the well running dry or the pump failing) while Jeff assessed the now re-frozen messes in the freezers. Later on we'd document the losses and toss out a portion of the mess each week on trash day, and the now empty freezers got totally dismantled inside for a much needed good cleaning. What we now have stored is streamlined and all inside of one freezer. There was way too much old stuff lost in the deep confines of the freezers, so not everything was a true loss. Most of the meats, however, were a different matter.

Work for me had become quite a bit better, with the folks there realizing they had the only one left from a large loss of retirees which jumped ship for retirement or early buyouts who know the most about the breadth of equipment and processes, so once they found out I had been saving their bacon upon my return from disability, I finally got some of the respect I deserve. It had actually become somewhat enjoyable for once.

I had been riding a slow wave of recovery from my back issues since the beginning of the year, but Jeff was increasingly plagued with health problems caused by his thyroid and the large goiter that had attached itself there like a face-hugging alien. Between that and some time constraints we decided to cancel the usual long weekend camping trips to Hillside that we had been doing continuously for a dozen years. This allowed me to have a chance at catching up on projects around the house and garage. I tore apart the Stratus that got whacked on the front corner due to an idiot in one of the traffic circles (one in over a dozen in approximately 2 square miles of area, this has to be some sort of record!) here at home. I put off this project until after PTown since I had other vehicles to tool around in. All the while Jeff kept being delayed over and over again by the staff at Johns Hopkins hospital increasing his frustration during a time where his workplace was becoming a living hell. I don't see how such a world-class medical facility can have such a totally inept and unprofessional support staff. The doctors are awesome. Their office staff, however, is the pits.

At work I had succumbed to a minor back injury while moving a heavy (and very expensive) piece of electronic gear using the aging, rickety carts provided for such purposes. The cart tipped rather than rolled, and I caught the 80 pound signal generator from hitting the floor. I strained my back and was out for a couple days while the worse of the pain subsided. A few weeks later the same thing happened, this time with a different lab cart and a similar piece of heavy equipment. No sudden back pain that time, but I hadn't become pain-free since the first accident. I had issues with an achy and increasingly bothersome back for a while, then I had awoke one night in the same intense, searing pain shooting down one leg that I had dealt with before the surgery in 2010. I took my cane out of mothballs and started seeking serious medical help. It was then when I found out the new medical insurance company I had to get through work was something I wasn't qualified for. I spent my own coin on the first couple visits, but I needed some expensive tests which I had to delay for about three weeks while the benefits department switched me over to a different company. Last week I was finally shoved like a torpedo into the tube of the MRI scanner. Rather than getting a huge envelope full of films this time, I got a CD with all the scans as well as the same utility the doctor uses to move through the various layers and scan depths. I made my own diagnosis just for kicks, and a little while ago the doctor's office called and confirmed what I had seen, which was a new protrusion of the L4-5 disk onto the spinal cord, against some swelling of scar tissue left over from the laminectomy and apparently made worse by recent injuries. For the past month I have been once again off of work, in sometimes ridiculous pain and unable to do a lot of things I like and/or need to do.

Frustration is the keyword of the moment I guess, but it has not been without a side benefit. I was able to be home with Jeff as well as taking him to and from his surgery and doctors visits. His surgery was a success, and he's been recovering nicely. As our odd luck would have it, during the time Jeff has been off for recovery, his mother took a nasty spill at home and broke her hip. Unfortunately, she's been succumbing to Alzheimer's for a while now, and since her surgery has been placed in a nursing home. Jeff's (and my) time off has afforded him (and me a couple times) a chance to visit as well as help out his dad. Mom has recovered from her surgery fairly well, but her return home has been stymied by her fear of getting up to walk, which is a condition of her release. She's afraid she will fall again, and refuses to walk many times. If she's distracted by some other thought, she does just fine, but when it's in her focus, it's a no-go. So sad, since she wants to go home to familiar surroundings. I'm hoping in these next couple weeks she does what she needs and can go back home. Unfortunately, she needs increasingly intensive care, something dad can't provide, and is reaching the limits of what in-home care is providing. Seeing her in bed when we last left the home was heart-wrenching for me, I can't help but flashing back to those days when my own Mom was declining. I wish I could do more, but I am frustratingly unable to do so, once again. Life is a wondrous thing, but it can be fraught with sadness and pain too.

Big change for Jeff today. He had been working at a government facility that relocated to Fort Meade from Virginia. I warned him to expect a bit of self-entitlement out of the clientele that is so (unfortunately stereotypical) of that area. Well, it was more than just a bit. Jeff had to contend with some of the most selfish and downright hostile people he ever had to deal with especially in a (very) professional environment. Couple this with a racist and homophobic client he finally had enough. Prior to, and while he was out recovering, he made a lateral move within his company to a healthcare facility outside of DC. Today is his first day at the new place, and he has high hopes for it. I sure hope this will be a good one, since Jeff worked most of his life in healthcare, he feels the most at home there. Wish him well. I head off for my doctor appointment in a few minutes, and I already know there could be some new surgery involved. I hope I can put it off for a while so I can get back to work, catch up there as well as here, and plan on a specific time for any needed cutting so I have a feeling of control and pace, rather than uncertain waiting and lack of income. Wish me well too, while you're at it.
greatbear: (Default)
Despite the last couple days of mid-90s heat, I wanted to cut the grass, finishing up what I started the other day. Well, the tractor was balking at that because of a bad electrical connection. Me being me, well, I decided to rewire the better part of the thing. I replaced a couple switches, and updated the electrical system to use modern blade type fuses in a centralized block rather than a bunch of random fuse holders and glass fuses. This was not to be finished before I had to move my project inside the garage amid the rumble of thunder and EAS warnings on the radio. So, my hot weather project is done, and the old beast works better than new. And the grass is soaked and will have to wait.

Bob Mould showed up on the Scruff grid, I guess there's a Blowoff in town for DC Pride. While these bear-heavy dance events had their genesis many years ago almost right in my back yard, it was not until last summer in P-Town that Jeff and I finally went to one. We had a blast, despite my inability to stand without extreme pain. I guess watching Jeff having so much needed fun was enough for me. We plan on doing it again this year. And just maybe I will enjoy it more as well.

Speaking of Jeff, the poor man is being overworked like never before, and it's due to some rather sad circumstances. His general manager is out until further notice because his mother has leukemia, and does not have much time left. She is leaving the hospital and coming home, hospice care has been set up, and the waiting begins. These are the folks who had us over in April for the Passover Seder. His boss' mom is a wonderful person, quick witted and quite progressive for her years. Kinda like my mom was. Unfortunately, things have taken a rather quick turn for the worse. I just hope she won't endure severe pain.

My health has been stalled a bit on the upswing, I get a nagging cough at night when I am trying to sleep, the remnants of the sore throat I had a bit over a week ago. Just once I would like to fall into bed at night and get a good night's rest without some part of my body wanting to keep me awake in some fashion. It's hell getting old, but I guess it could be worse.

Finally, in a rather excellent nod to Les Paul's 96th birthday, the folks at Google have one of their awesome "Doodles" on their homepage for the occasion. Not only cool in that you can "play" this one, but you can actually record and save your "jams" as well. Go check it out.
greatbear: (Default)
A quick update and some words. First off, and most importantly, Jeff and I went to his doc this afternoon for the results of the biopsy performed on his thyroid a a couple weeks ago. The growths are benign. This was a huge parting of dark clouds for us. Still needing to be addressed is the cause of and the symptoms (tiredness and lethargy primarily) from these growths. This will take place in the near future. Thankfully there is no push for surgery and treatments the worst of the news would have brought upon him. So, I can't yell "YAY!" loud enough or from too high of a mountaintop as an expression of relief and joy.

Now I can get on with my own health issues. These have gotten me quite bummed, but I will work it out.

And here's the part when I stand humbled, with hat in hand. In my post from a while back I lamented my dissatisfaction and disappointment in regards to "social media" and its varied and uncertain value to me at times. Well, in the posts since, I was (once again) reminded of the value of the phenomenon. While I still feel that it often exacerbates the disconnect I feel between friends because of the inevitable distances involved, there is no denying the connections offered. There are real people, with true concerns and even love at the other end of the posts, comments and messages. Yeah, I get frustrated that people I know I'd have an awesome time being around are hundreds or thousands (or even just a few) of miles away. So, I will try harder to measure the real folks with real words coming from the glow of my screen against the occasional disappointment I feel because they are not in the same room. I will also endeavor to rectify the latter as much as possible with more travel, trips and invitations. I might have been rather quiet here as far as followup replies to comments and such, but rest assured your words have a definite effect. And I loves yas all for it.

So, it's with a bit of extra sunshine that the plans we've been making for travel and fun despite what has been unfolding for the past few months. We've got tix to see Elton John this weekend, Cirque du Soleil's Totem in a couple months, four trips to Hillside and an extended trip to PTown. And we'll do more I'm sure. And I hope to make real more of the virtual connections I have.

I humbly thank each and every one who have left words of concern and encouragement. You've done more for me than you know. And, well, more than *I* know at times.

Peace.
greatbear: (static)
A lot of things have been weighing heavily on my mind, and weighing me down physically as well. I've been quite out of sorts for a while. My appetite is shot; if we go to a restaurant, the vast majority of times I end up bringing at least half of my meal home. At home I barely eat compared to how I used to. This is not entirely bad, since my activity level is also down, I don't need the extra calories making me huge. It's tough for me to be enthused about food, and having a chef as a very significant other, I feel I am doing him an injustice as well.

World events have me down, of course. The disaster in Japan, with continued tragic reports of lost life, the nuclear mess and untold suffering hit me hard. I've had to take steps to limit my intake of bad news not just from Japan, but everywhere. Still my empathic nature makes me feel for the thousands affected.

I am frustrated at the almost stalled progress in recovery from my injuries and surgery. Part of this is due to the medications I had been taking to promote nerve healing, the side effects leave me loopy and slow responding, and I still have problems stumbling and falling on (thankfully lessening) occasions. I still have issues just walking, and if I bump into something or do anything that results in (or would require) sudden motions to keep my balance, I teeter and topple like a top running out of angular momentum to keep it upright. It's frustrating. There are ongoing issues with my ankle and knee as well. A set of stairs, where I used to take two steps at a time in a running gallop before is a burden that required careful use of handrails.

All of this pales, however, in comparison to my dear Jeff. As you know, he suffered a very serious heart attack in December. He bounced back in an incredibly short time, with a near perfect recovery. this is tempered against his workaholic nature and his job requirements that keep him on the go starting at 4am and sometimes not coming home until 12 or more hours later, only to have to do more work at home. Part of this stems from the ongoing delays in getting internet service and connectivity for the systems there, and telephone service. These issues are slowly being rectified, and Jeff has let everyone know that these 15 hour days that intrude on his home life are unacceptable. Time will tell if the concerns will be fully addressed.

But the worst has the potential yet to come. During the various testing done when Jeff had his heart attack, problems were detected with thyroid function. Subsequent tests found large masses on the thyroid, and last week a biopsy was performed to determine if these masses are cancerous or not. We find out next week the results of those tests. Needless to say, both of us have been adrift in a lot of uncertainty and worry. Regardless of the test outcome, surgery will need to be performed. The tests are there to determine if it happens sooner or later, and the course of action. For both of us, it seems that with one happy step forward comes at least one back.
greatbear: (grinds my gears)
I has a cold. A nasty one. I look and feel like hammered dogshit. This is my third day of this nastiness, and I'm staying in bed as much as I can. I can't take too much of the room spinning in opposite directions from where I'm walking, bumping into walls, and chilled to the bone. I made the mistake of doing work on the Mini Cooper during the day (it needed it's FOURTH battery), I got halfway through my work and became a nauseous, freezing mess and had to go inside and rest in front of the space heater. Since I had everything spread out, I had to muster the energy to go back and finish what I started, and did just that. I still have a temperature, but not as bad as yesterday. I'm still horking up copious amounts of lung butter and generally drowning in my own juices, but I think that is on the wane a bit as well.

Blergh. I hate being sick.
greatbear: (Default)
Here's a cute little song by British transplant Cosmo Jarvis called, "Gay Pirates" that's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Why am I posting this? Because it's my blog, and I'll post if I want to.



In other news, I fell asleep inside the MRI machine today while they studied my defective knee. This only extends the proof that I can fall asleep just about anywhere. I woke up craving something with bacon on or in it, the reason being is on the bottom floor corner of the medical professional building there is a deli. This deli is also connected on the interior of the building as well, and they often have their inside door open. The entire building will smell like bacon most days. This includes the ortho/sports medicine department that know me so well, the adjoining physical therapy outfit, and even all the way to the fourth floor operating rooms. Yes, you can have a medical procedure done while the room smells of food, rather than antiseptic and medicine and such. These are the areas and floors I've been on, I can assume the (mostly bacon) smell permeates the other floors as well. I almost never cease to bring this up with my doctors. The ones wearing yarmulkes and turbans, at that. That's me, being sacred and kosher and all. =D

Speaking of sleep, the other day I took an afternoon nap. Jeff has the new flannel sheets I got him for xmas on the bed, as well as several blankets, a comforter and a very old quilt made by his grandmother that is about as heavy as a lead x-ray shielding blanket. After a night with no sleep, a lousy morning of pain and discomfort, I finally felt that I could get some sleep, albeit during the day when I should be doing something constructive. Sure enough, once I pulled the 50 pounds of covers over me, I was comatose. I eventually woke up hours later, as warm as a freshly started nuclear reactor, numb from the sleep paralysis, completely at ease. Well, except for a need to hit the bathroom. I discover trying to move is even tougher than I thought, and find out the reason for this is while laying face down on my belly, both the cat and the dog stationed themselves on top of me as well. That had to be the soundest sleep I had in a long time. I had some strange dreams, but forgot them. Both Jeff and I have been recipients of the dual four-legged blankets. Now if I can only get the two of them to behave, if not actually like each other.

I've been keeping myself busy with all sorts of different things. I can't do anything requiring any lifting, contorting, or lots of standing. To that end I've been continuing to make flurries of little (and not so little) upgrades and repairs around the house and garage. LED upgrades to the kitchen lighting for the fixtures that are not on dimmers turned out well. For the dimmable fixtures, not so much. Dimmable fluorescent and LED retrofit lamps are a mixed bag. The problem is that LED and CFL lamps draw so little current compared to their incandescent counterparts, and do so in a very nonlinear manner, that most dimmers cannot provide a smoothly adjusted source of power to the fixtures. The lights flicker, flash or are impossible to set. I even bought a dimmer made especially for LED and CFL lamps and got the same result. Back to the drawing board.

While I've not been able to make use of the vast majority of tools and equipment while laid up, I've been taking the time to disassemble, clean and lube everything that has moving parts. This means anything from ratchets to power tools to the outdoor power equipment. I did most of the latter during the summer. The smaller stuff has been my undertaking usually in the evening when I need some quiet time. I've made it maybe through half of the stuff, and I've been at it for months. I knew I had a lot of tools and equipment, but interacting with it in this manner really makes me realize not only how much of the stuff I have, but how long I've been at the various endeavors that utilize them. A good majority of my tools and equipment are over 20 years old. Some are even older than me, being handed down to me or picked up at auctions, sales and such. I have thought about how much work I've done over the decades using those tools, and wonder what will become of them once I am no longer. I just hope that someone makes as good a use of them as I have.
greatbear: (Default)
Okay, time for an update, an explanation, and an apology, not necessarily in any particular order.

Firstly, my apologies to anyone who got a scare or was otherwise concerned when my LJ vanished without warning. Long story short, it was done to eliminate past and future actions causing problems here at home, nothing more. Circumstances which arose and caused the issues were born out of misunderstandings, and have been rectified. I needed a bit of time to reset my head and just take a break. What I discovered later during that time was quite a few of my LJ friends wondering what happened and showing deep concern. This is very humbling, and for that I thank all of you. Rest assured, I will try and avoid the same thing happening in the future, and if for some reason I have to pull the plug here, I'll leave some sort of warning.

I was reminded by a few of you that this LJ thing, as it is used by some of us, has grown beyond simple blogging or even social media, and has become a close circle of friends with this service as a primary (if not sole) means of communication. If someone disappears suddenly, the cause for concern and need for an explanation goes beyond that of an office koffee klatch or even traditional extended family members. Close bonds and tight friendships form here sometimes, and must be treated as such. I don't know who ultimately reads most of my entries aside from those who leave comments in each particular one. But it's become clear that far more people actually read than comment. I'm one of the most guilty people in that respect. I read everyone on my f-list. You might call it my a-list. But out of the dozens of entries I read each day, I comment with only a fraction sometimes, if that. And I am also guilty of not continuing dialogs within my own posting comment fields. I'm trying to change that. And smack me around if need be. I'm especially dense lately with so much on my mind that I often forget.

As for myself, I'm managing. Not long ago I was able to make use of my seemingly interminable waits between doctor visits and various treatments by focusing my pent-up energies (and frustrations) doing stuff around the house and garage. As my stenosis seemed to worsen, I took to sitting on the floor to do all the tinkering that makes me happy and gives me a sense of accomplishment, since standing had become more and more painful. In the last couple weeks my ability to walk and stand has become excruciating, and even dangerous. I have my cane/stick wherever I go now, and more than a few times, I found myself actually incapacitated, unable to get up or even move my lower torso without extreme pain. This week I have been wrapping up as much stuff as I can and leaving things easier for Jeff to work with as I simply bide my time before my October appointment under the knife. After that day of infamy (or infirmary) there's going to be even more time where I will be pretty much an immobile lump as I heal up and hopefully can begin to resume a normal life. If all goes well, much of what I did around here in the days/weeks/months prior will help set the stage for a simpler life with some cool things thrown in when we both can enjoy it. At least that's what I hope for.

So, there you have it. There's more, but it's not necessary at this time to elaborate. Suffice it to say that while I am feeling rather beaten down right now, I still have a fight left in me. And thanks to some of you, that is a battle worth fighting and fighting fucking hard.

Now, for those who made it this far and did not succumb to the teal deer, I noticed a meme going around. I decided to participate. I was supposed to take a pixture of myself as I am at the moment, no preening and primping, no hairdos, showering, grooming of any kind, costumes, flattering light, or Photoshop treatments. So here I am basking in the unflattering glare of the Luxo lamp with the 100 watt equivalent LED floodlight shining in my face. Prior to the webcam photo I transformed my super heavy duty keyboard drawer into an impromptu workbench to figure out what's with my cell phone. I think I got it sorted out. It's been dropped a lot lately.

AsYouAreRightNow
greatbear: (Default)
The other day I picked up a cane to help me through my latest round of ailments. I immediately personalized it with my increasingly common phrase:



After spending about a half hour wedged into a MRI machine like a torpedo about to be fired, it appears all the hell I put my lower back through over the years my back has its vengeance. More unwanted disability spent at home and future vacations and trips uncertain. I'll know more in a couple weeks.

It's hell getting old.
greatbear: (headsmash)
World of hurt - I has it.

One of the hardest things for me to do is nothing. Forcing myself to stay resting while giving my failing joints a chance to recover is enough to drive me out of my mind. I can't lay around watching TV or movies, at least not for long. I am hardwired to always be doing something that results in something beneficial and tangible around me. The stir crazy feelings are only greatly intensified when I am behind in so many things. Add to that a nice, sunny St. Pat's day outside and I... AAARRGH!

Anyway, this is supposed to help me mend then enjoy myself in the future, right?

Right?


*sigh*
greatbear: (arethahat)
The excruciating pain I was feeling in my knee was not subsiding anytime soon, so it was back to the doc to have needles stuck in it and shot up with steroids. Still hurts like hell. Time will tell if this is a remedy. It seems I am getting tendinitis everywhere.

I have all of the trim, J-channels and weatherstripping I need to finish up the garage doors project for good. I came up with a unique setup allowing me to deadbolt the doors from outside if needed (such as when I am away from home for an extended period) but they can only be unlocked from inside. Being that the area around me is getting more and more built up, I can't take chances with my investments of tools and machinery inside. After I get other items on the house and garage taken care of (roofs, mainly, plus a basement door and skylights) I have to replace two cheap wooded windows that refuse to open any more. 20 years since I built all this it's come to the point where things need replacing. Time flies. And, because of this, so does my savings.

I hope I can become mobile without so much pain again so I can take care of these things. I want to get a lot done before spring, allowing springtime for the outdoor stuff so Jeff and I can take some time to relax and socialize. No word yet on our P-Town reservations, and tonight we made reservations for Deep Creek Lake at the end of May.

There's some nasty weather in the works. Jeff had to pack a bag in case things get nasty and he's stuck staying overnight. I found that his truck has a leak in the front tire that I am not able to deal with at the moment, so he's gonna be driving The Strat in the snow. He's not too comfortable with that, but the thing does well in the snow, especially with the Bridgestone RE-960AS tires. I told him he's just gonna have to wash it.

I'm not looking forward to the next couple days either, I already have trouble walking, doing so on ice and snow makes it that more miserable.

I printed the picture of Jeff with The Hat and he took it to work. It was a hit. He knows he makes it work.

Illin'

Dec. 4th, 2008 10:58 pm
greatbear: (old graybeard)
Is it my imagination, or are colds getting a lot more vindictive these days? I thought I was mostly over the last round, but last night I ended up having a session of coughing fits before I hit the sack, and this morning, upon getting up I ended up tossing my cookies which prompted me to call in once again and go crawl back to bed.

Later in the day I ended up feeling better than in a long time, which is very welcome. Still, I could not help getting the feeling like this cold just had to kick me in the teeth on it's way out. All this last word shit these days.

This weekend I have some garage projects to take care of. Yes, the living room is suffering once again with the presence of tools and parts and equipment that instead should be out in the garage. It's not like we do any entertaining to speak of, so it's not that big a deal. I still like to keep the living areas livable though.

I am starting to get caught up on some LJing and some replies I needed to make. Otherwise, I am still pretty much behind in LJ happnins.

Work is going well also in my efforts to upgrade the digital realm of the Garage of Mayhem. All that remains is to run some Cat5e in more places around the house and out to the garage and the groundwork is all done. Two servers with insane amount of hard drive space and fault tolerance are in good working order as well. I think if I die, I should be able to upload myself into it all and live comfortably. Well, until Microsoft puts out a patch and causes my existence to reboot into oblivion, that is.
greatbear: (fuzzy)
One thing that always happens when I get a nasty cold - my voice sounds like a combination of Barry White and Lt. Worf. When I called in sick yesterday my boss didnt know who it was at first. In this case conditions are perfect for a Klingon love poetry reading.

You know that laziness is the order of the day when one is expecting a package and instead of going to the door (or in my case, usually, the carport) to look if the package is there, simply refreshing the package tracking info on the website is the order of the day. "Delivered"? Woot. I had to go all the way to the carport though.

Merriment was had dropping the last bits into the megamonsterserver making it whole and real. An additional 4G of RAM and a Creative X-Fi Elite Pro soundcard and the thing sounds heavenly and runs like a scalded cheetah. The monster that is Vista 64bit is happy when well fed. I also picked up an Asus Xonar D1 sound card for the little PC that's currently sitting in for my digital audio workstation computer still waiting for my attention. I read good things about the Xonar sound card line, and was pleasantly surprised. On-board audio, while handy and cheap, pretty much sucks when attempting to use it for real serious audio work. Gone is the background ticks, buzzes and bleeps that marred the noise floor and the sweeping/whooshing that accompanied the music at very low volumes, replaced with clean audio throughout the full dynamic range and dead silence when nothing is being played. The Xonar was one of few cards that came in a low profile form factor with a corresponding bracket to mount the thing in the tiny case I have everything in. So, for the time being, there's some happiness in the sea of hacky, coughing, mucus-coated hell I am currently residing. QI'yaH!
greatbear: (fuzzy)
Some may or may not have noticed an increase in posting frequency from me lately. I mean, going from a post every few weeks to several in one day is a huge delta. The reason for this, of course, is that I have been off of work periodically (unpaid, FMLA leave) taking care of Mom, and the PC is just too handy (I refuse to blog from work). Today was no different except for the fact that I had an appointment to see my doctor. I started feeling pain and cramping in my lower abdomen on the weekend. This came to a debilitating, sweating peak yesterday. Fearing that it might be a return of diverticulitis, I made an appointment for today to see the doctor. I have had this occur a total of four times, with the first occurrance resutling in a form of peritonitis, which nearly killed me. Anyway, I was surprised to find out this morning that I slept like a log throughout the night and the majority of pain was gone. Evidently what I had was either an irritation from something I ate, an intestinal bug that was circulating around work, or some sort of stress-related hell. And I have lots of stress in my life right now. Needless to say, I am happy that I was not taken down by my insides. I cannot afford to fall ill while I am taking care of Mom.

Stress has it's way of putting my various body system into 'full alert'. I dont sleep well, get very irritable and small things can set me off. Big things, however, can bring out a wrath that scares even me. This happened on the way of taking Mom for her treatments this morning. Some idiot in a Toyota minivan made a huge, unprovoked attempt to run me out of my lane. When I blocked this attempt with a followup of ABS-inducing brake usage one the guy was behind me, this shithead ended up in the left-turn lane. Sure, stay three lanes to the right when your next move in about 500 feet was to turn left. No, this guy pulled a holeshot on me when the light changed and essentially terrorized mom and I along the way. I was going insane, mom was alternating being pissed and fearing what I would do next. When a light changed and the van stopped ahead of me, I stormed out of the car with Mom begging me not to and had full intention of punching out the driver's side glass. This person must have sensed this and blew through the red light before I could get close. My only regret was that there was no one in the cross traffic for this shithead to take out. That would have made my day. I eventually caught up to the asshat who was bombing down the road trying to get away, and I managed to scare them into making a dumb evasive maneuver. I was incensed when I finally got to the oncology center, Mom was shaken, and I was regretting every minute of what just transpired. It seems even the National Institutes of Health have come up with a name for my condition: Intermittent Explosive Disorder. How convenient that the acronym is more familiarly used to describe an Iraqi 'improvised explosive device'. Given half the chance, I think I would be at least as destructive.

After the joyous trip to the oncology center, Mom had to endure an hour's wait before her treatment in a drafty, overly airconditioned waiting room. Hey, when I feel cold, it must be positively arctic to most people, let alone Mom, who is very susceptible to cool temps these days. Mom was shivering on the way out the door, and still exasperated from the ordeal. On the way home, we both lightened (and warmed) up. In fact, Mom thought about my almost-attack on the Toyota and actually started busting with pride. "You scared the shit out of that asshole!" she said, smiling. I am just glad at this point it did not go further, though she, like me, wished there was oncoming traffic. When one of her close friends called to check on her (this person is going to be the subject of a future post), she recounted the road rage incident and my near-attack. She was bragging! Good ol' Mom. Her friend said that seeing big ol' me stomping up in a rage would scare most anyone.

I soon had my trip to fulfill my doc appointment. Still exasperated with traffic and the near hour I had to endure in the waiting room I was curious as to what my blood pressure reading would be. 116/70. Woot. I bet it was a tad higher earlier that day.

I cannot afford to be sick, hurt or incarcerated for justifiable homicide of traffic idiots during these upcoming months. My family exists solely of Mom and I, with Jeff being the closest to me but distance-limited in PA. We rely on a few close friends of Mom's to check up on us and help where they can. We dont ask for or require such help, but it does fulfill an inherent need. Mom and I are alike in the fact thet we both tend to suffer in silence by preference. When I get sick, I dont like to have a lot of people around. I hate the thought of being a buzz-killer. Plus, I stubbornly remain independent when I can. It's my nature, and I know where I got it from.

On the mend

Nov. 3rd, 2005 07:05 pm
greatbear: (forearms)
It looks like I am slowly on the road to recovery. I am no longer losing weight like crazy and my appetite is returning, and with it my energy. Still, I gotta take it easy when it comes to food, my system is still weak and basically unaccustomed to 'real' food. Ah, well, I been through this before, and I know the drill. I feel I should start lifting again (this has not been serious since (well) before the car accident in 2000). I'll satisfy the initial urge using the few weights I have around the house I suppose.

I am stewing as a number of project are stuck on hold while everything from patio doors to power supplies are seemingly stuck on backorder. I hate it when things I have no control over get in the way of things I want/have to do. When the stuff finally comes in, I gotta contend with cold weather while doing the work. The house Except the sunroom) and garage will get new roofs next year, and I have decided to add a pair of skylights in the living room when that gets done. I will get in the middle of the roofers and cut in/mount the skylights then do the lightshafts when they are gone and I am done with the outside stuff. Work work work.

[livejournal.com profile] jackal had this site in one of his posts. It's been a while since I perused it. And, wouldnt you know, there still is no means to order anything from those pages. I want samples, at least.

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greatbear: (Default)
Phil

December 2016

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